The new year began with a modest hiring improvement for managerial positions, reports the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index. The 2.2-point increase in January hiring is a slight rebound from major dips in new, white collar employment during November and December.
At 99 points, the index is above its January 2012 mark of 95. However, the current mark is below the level of two years ago – 103.7 – and the average 2012 score of 103.9 points.
The risk of the nation falling off the fiscal cliff contributed to the drops in November and December. Though President Obama signed the House and Senate’s agreed upon deal to avert the impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 expiring, the modest gains in January show a wait-and-see approach in the managerial labor market.
"The impact of the budget battle was strongly felt in hiring at the start and middle of the month,” JobSerf CEO Jay Martin says. “With a change of politicians, and total obscurity as to where the budget negotiations will lead this year, there is a lot of instability in the hiring markets.”
Fittingly, one of the more notable declines was is in the nation’s capital. Long the forerunner of managerial hiring strength, the JobSerf report finds Washington’s hold on the top spot is slipping. The city’s hiring index fell seven points and now leads second place Boston by just three points.
“The impact of D.C. dysfunction can be seen in the city’s lack of hiring activity,” Martin says.
How do we determine these numbers?
The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index calculates the number of available managerial job openings each month by surveying a wide range of local and national job boards across the U.S, with all results hand-counted and checked for duplication by a team of researchers. What does an overall Index score of 99.0 for January 2013 mean? The Index measures employment activity against a base score of 100, which represents the volume of job openings during the same period in 2008. A score higher than 100 means that there are more available jobs than in 2008, while one below 100 means that job seekers now have fewer opportunities available. Over the past 55 months, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index is lower at 99.0 than in January 2008.